What is the evidence that training with power is superior to . . .

Discussion in 'Power Training' started by Fday, Apr 25, 2008.

  1. Bikeridindude

    Bikeridindude New Member

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    Well there you have it. You can simplify this whole mess by asking, "Has there been a study to show that.....?" The answer seems to be "NO". So go conduct one, I'd be interested to see how you set it up to find anything meaningful.
     


  2. Tapeworm

    Tapeworm New Member

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    Are you out to specifically be obtuse? Or are you genuinely not clear on methods of training? Given your supposed background I thought this constitutes a deliberately provocative question.

    Regardless...

    The training systems and methods as far as I can tell have not altered any great deal with the more common usage of power meters, rather they allow a means to qualify and record data that previously was either unknown or guessed at, and consequently allow for a more definitive structure to be brought to training.

    A similar question could have been asked with the arising use of HR monitors many years back as opposed to working on perceived rate of exertion. Is there any evidence that training with a timing device is superior to PRE? :)

    Given the rather complex nature of human beings there could be no way of ever proving that one "system" is superior to any other. As one other person had already mentioned psychology plays such a huge part in performance that no study could "prove" the best training system. If they could have proved it, they would have by now.

    Though one does have to wonder why all these professional teams are using PMs, no? Must be something worthwhile with all that data they are collecting. Bragging rights? Must be it, no other application could be made. "I know your guy won the race but check this wattage out!" ;)

    For me a power meter allows another set of data that can be analyzed and helps in many regards to make things simpler when it comes to training. For example time trialing. If on a 40k course I average X watts, then if I know that if I want to go faster I have definitive value that I need to increase. Speed, HR and PRE would not assist in being able to measure accurately the gains made from training (ok I'll spell it out, speed is affected by too many environmental aspects, HR is at its ceiling and lags after effort has increased/decreased and PRE is always the same - totally shagged).

    Also, the PM has also allowed me to identify points on a specific TT course where and when I have taken my foot off the pedal (so to speak). This is not reflected in HR data.

    No doubt there will be many a rebuttal. Argument for its own sake? Or is there a point to all this?
     
  3. Felt_Rider

    Felt_Rider Active Member

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    Perhaps a very odd way of marketing PC's by curbing or placing doubt in toward the hot trend of training with a PM. :confused:

    I may be way off base, but that is my guess. The another option could be that someone is bored and just wanted to do a little trolling. :)
     
  4. rmur17

    rmur17 New Member

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    in case anyone hasn't seen it and doesn't understand my reference to fake data files - I'd suggest reading this thread starting about page 8 ..

    http://forum.slowtwitch.com/gforum.cgi?do=post_view_flat;post=1542446;page=8;sb=post_latest_reply;so=ASC;mh=25;
     
  5. Steve_B

    Steve_B New Member

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    Great Frank. So how did you study your Power Tap when you had one? How did you determine that it was useless?
     
  6. Steve_B

    Steve_B New Member

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    Oh, excuse me. Of course. I am so sorry, Frank. I really should pay more attention to your so educated and elightened views when you talk out of both sides of your mouth.:rolleyes:
     
  7. Steve_B

    Steve_B New Member

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  8. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    Once again I'm with you Felt_Rider, I think this is a convoluted marketing argument for clutched crank arms. It goes like this:

    - People really like power meters and believe they've helped their training and racing success
    - It's difficult to point to a structured study that shows that power meters by themselves were directly responsible for the success those users experienced
    - Therefore all the evidence that power meters are useful is anectdotal
    - By extension anectdotal experiences are all you need to justify a product
    - There are users of said clutched crank systems that feel that Frank's product has helped their training.
    - Those accounts are of course anectdotal
    - Anectdotal accounts are acceptable evidence so Frank's product must really work

    That and some good old psychotic trolling and you've got the gist of this thread. I really do need to mock up some fake power files that somehow demonstrate the tool itself led to my improved results. I'll have to think about this....

    But the logic of the comparison above doesn't hold up. One item measures performance and can be applied to a variety of training plans. All it does is provide objective measures of real time performance and those measurements can be applied as the riders/coaches see fit.

    The other is a training intervention that forces a different way of riding, forces the use of different muscles and claims specific improvements. It's ideally suited for a structured intervention based study.

    OMG... I just got sucked into Frank's delusional world again... Good trollin' Frank.

    -Dave
     
  9. Felt_Rider

    Felt_Rider Active Member

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    You held out longer than most of us :D


    By the way I just looked at the quote you used from me. Who was typing that? I must have been asleep, but don't tell the grammar police. :)
     
  10. Steve_B

    Steve_B New Member

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    Yes.

    The power that the rider generates is what propels him or her down the road. Because of the functions performed by the heart, it has many things to do and react to at once. As a result, pulse rate can be misleading as an indicator of intensity or effort. On top of that, heart rate obviously does not propel someone down the road. A speedometer and/or stopwatch are imperfect as well because rider speed can be influenced by changing environmental conditions (i.e., day-to-day variability in temperature, barometric pressure, etc.), tires, etc.
     
  11. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    Theory B is that Fday is going with the famous marketing quote:

    "I don't care what you say about me, as long as you say something
    about me, and as long as you spell my name right."

    IOW, even trolling is a marketing strategy of sorts. From that standpoint I probably shouldn't bite on Franque Dei's (no relation to Opus Dei, the penguin with strong religious beliefs) trolls.
     
  12. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    Why would he use a PowerTap when he sells PowerCranks with the SRM powermeter integrated? Just wondering...

    Nice to see the old woman's tea party is in full effect. Maybe Felt Rider should leave his manbag at the door...
     
  13. Steve_B

    Steve_B New Member

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    True. It generates "hits", as do mentions of clutched crank devices (under another name). However, if people follow the links here, they are in for a surprise....
     
  14. Steve_B

    Steve_B New Member

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    I don't know. You will have to ask him. He said that he had one though.

    What I find humorous is that the website for his product mentions “improvements in power” all over the place but yet he’s over here bad mouthing power meters.
     
  15. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    I just read some of that stuff on slowtwitch.... Now, if I don't complete the 129 miles and 5 mountain passes of the Deathride in under 6 hours I'm going to be reminded that PowerCranks don't work. If I do it under 6 hours then someone is going to be asked to scan in my number with all 5 pretty little "pass stickers" on it - God forbid if it does have all 5, cause someone will say that I'm handy with photoshop. :rolleyes:
     
  16. Steve_B

    Steve_B New Member

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    Yes, lest we forget about the Swampy rule that training must always be a near-death experience for it to have any value.
     
  17. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure where the "bad mouthing" comes from but he did write this:

    "What is the evidence that training with power is superior to . . .

    training with any other effort/intensity feedback system such as HR, perceived exertion, stopwatch, etc.

    I have been asking this on slowtwitch and the best I can ascertain from the replies the so-called evidence to support these devices and this method of training is entirely anecdotal. Thought I would ask here."


    I don't see anything in there that says "Power meters are "a waste of money/not worth it/over rated/more than what the average cyclist needs...../blah blah blah" It was more of a 'tell me why you think that power meters are great' - and without reference to PowerCranks. Of course some of the windbags had to bring up Powercranks into the debate..... ;)

    Personally, I get enough data from my HR monitor (HR, speed, cadence, altitude etc etc) but I accept it's limitations too. I'd like something that's a bit more helpful when it comes to monitoring the things I'm worst at which is the short violent accelerations on the flat. I don't have a 1000watt kick. That said, do I really need to see the numbers for the power if I know my cadence, speed and gear to tell me that I'm getting better? Do I need to junk the $400 HRM in favor of a $600+ power meter to get one extra parameter to analyse?

    Of course, I didn't need the $400 HRM a $200 would have done pretty much the same deal...
     
  18. Steve_B

    Steve_B New Member

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    They are part and parcel of the same thing. Look, if he's going to go on and on about power gains on his website, then don't bad mouth training with the instrument to measure those power gains. It's ridiculous.
     
  19. Fday

    Fday New Member

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    I am a little confused. This fellow learned something about how people actually race from using a powermeter which caused them to change the way they did their intervals. Why does this discovery mean that one needs the PM to change the way intervals are performed in training?
    Congratulations on your success. Regarding Sarah Ulmer, how is it that a mistake by the mechanic caused Sarah to ride with a much larger gear and to a much faster race than was anticipated? Why hadn't the experimentation been done with a wide variety of gear sizes to determine the optimum for her for that event. If that had been done any mistake by the mechanic would have been truly a mistake and would have slowed her down, not speeded her up.
    You ought to read those posts a little closer. I have hypothesized that the slowing in those races is due to a change in tactics, with people "holding back on the bike" some to "win on the run". I have hypothesized that the availability of PM's might have assisted some in "better managing" this slowing than if it were not present, that is all.
    Congratulations. Even distance and endurance athletes can do more with less if they train properly. "Properly" doesn't always involve training with a power meter. Perhaps you missed this thread on ST: Steve Larsen thread
    Congratulations on your results and your ability to use this tool at the highest level with success. The intent of my original question, though, went more to, not whether any one person or coach had ever used it with success, but how successful overall the tool is when used by the masses. I am sure you are not the only national team using the device. Why aren't all the other teams using the device setting new world records (or, at least, exceeding the old records) as yours is?

    Your answer raises another question in my mind. Can a user do it on their own? Or, is it necessary for a user of the device to sign up for "TrainingPeaks" or to have a savvy coach to see any or most of the benefits of the device? How does a typical user know how to best use the device?
     
  20. Steve_B

    Steve_B New Member

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    "Better" is whatever you deem it to be. So, no, it's not mandatory to see gains.
     
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